Are you planning to sell your Winter Springs FL home? Then you need to know how much your home is worth. Knowing the value of your home lets you evaluate what you can afford, determine whether a listing is appropriately priced, and decide how to price your own home when it’s time to sell it.
Why do you need to know the current market value of your Winter Springs FL home?
As a homeowner, you may know how much you paid for your property and how much your monthly mortgage is, but you may not know what its current market value is. You may think, if you still live in your home and intend to live there for the near future, then why would you care about its current market value?
Your home’s current market value is the amount it would likely sell for if it went on the market today. In short, it is the estimate of what buyers would be willing to pay for it at a specific point in time.
Like most homeowners, you may not know the importance of knowing your home’s current market value. If you are asking yourself, “does it matter?” The answer is yes, it does—for a whole host of reasons.
Here are some of the reasons why you need to know the current value of your Winter Springs FL home:
- Property Tax
When assessing your property for property tax, it is the current market value of your home that you need to consider and not its value when you first bought it. If you undervalue your property, you might need to pay a fine in the future. If you overvalue it, you might need to pay an additional tax every year.
Do not fall into the trap of using the original purchase price of your home when getting a quote for home insurance, as this will only lead to higher premiums. Instead, use its current market value.
- Financial Planning
Knowing the current market value of your home will help you better assess your current net worth. If you know your home’s value, it will be easier for you to determine if you are in negative equity and if so, by how much.
Being able to assess your current net worth is extremely important as you make major life decisions like downsizing, trading up, upgrading, or selling your home.
- Home Sale
This is one of the most obvious reasons to determine the current value of your Winter Springs FL home. When it is time to sell, you need to know the true market value of your property or you may have to deal with the consequences.
If you overprice your home, it may end up not selling quickly or worse, going stale in the market. If you underprice it, it will fail to give you the best return on your investment.
When it’s time to sell your home, talk to a professional like me so I can give you my expert opinion. I can help you know the current value of your property, so you’ll have less homework to do.
How do I find out what my Winter Springs FL home is worth?
If you want to determine your Winter Springs FL home value, there are many ways to do so. Basically, your house is worth whatever someone will pay for it. But if you want a long answer to your question then it depends on the market and whether you are asking a lender, an agent, or a county assessor.
Even if you are not yet selling your home, knowing how to calculate its value with the help of online tools and trained professionals is a huge advantage for you. Not only does it prepare you to buy, sell, refinance, and tap into your home’s equity, it also helps you negotiate lower property taxes.
Knowing the value of your home also gives you a better picture of your overall financial health. In the United States, for instance, nearly three quarters or 73% of the total population are convinced that one of the keys to determining their financial health is by knowing the value of their homes.
Here are some of the ways through which you can find the value of your home:
- By using online home evaluation tools
If you try to search “how much is my house worth?” you will find that there are lots of home value estimators available online. These tools, generally referred to as automated valuation models or AVMs, are usually offered by lenders or popular real estate sites like Zillow and Redfin.
AVMs use public records like property transfers, deeds of ownership, tax assessments, and some mathematical modeling in predicting home values based on recent sales and listing prices in your area. Most real estate sites have this AVM feature for marketing and lead generation purposes.
Because online evaluation tools are mostly made available for the sake of generating leads, they return a value for every property even when the data presented by the homeowner is limited. Because of this, online home evaluation tools are less accurate compared with other home evaluation means.
Meanwhile, the AVMs used by real estate professionals like us are different. Unlike the typical AVMs found on real estate websites, our tools use a confidence score to indicate how close the AVM provider thinks an estimate is to market value. If the tool yields a confidence score of 90%, then that means that the estimate given is within 10% of market value.
- By using a comparative market analysis
If you want to know your home value but don’t want to settle with online evaluation tools, you can ask me for a comparative market analysis. This may not be as detailed as a professional appraisal, but it offers my evaluation of your home and the market and provides an estimated value for your home. I can do this for you for little or no cost.
- By using the FHFA House Price Index Calculator
One of the quickest ways to get an estimate of what your home is worth if you don’t want to settle for AVMs is by using the Federal Housing Financing Agency’s (FHFA) house price index (HPI) calculator.
This more scientific approach makes use of the “repeat sales method” by tracking the change in the value of a house from one sale to the next. Through this, the tool estimates how values fluctuate in a given market.
While this calculator only looks at conforming home mortgages and is not adjusted seasonally or for inflation, it is still a reliable tool if you want an easy way to know how much your house may have appreciated over a certain period of time.
- By hiring a professional appraiser
Lenders usually require an appraisal before approving a mortgage. As a property owner, however, you can choose to hire an appraiser to estimate the value of your home at any time. In the U.S., about one-fourth of the population actually determine their home values through a professional appraiser.
Appraisers generally give a value based on your needs. That means that if you hire an appraiser, you may ask him to get the value of your home for a date in the past, or you may also ask for its current market value for refinancing and purchasing purposes.
Among the things that appraisers evaluate are the market, the property, and comparable properties. Not only do they look at the region, city and neighborhood in which your home is located, they also determine your home value based on the characteristics of your house, the land it sits on, as well as the sales, listings, vacancies, cost, depreciation, and other factors for similar houses in the same market.
Through the information that they gather, they are able to come up with a final opinion of value for the home and summarize it in an official report.
- By evaluating comparable properties
Generally, appraisals and AVMs rely on the recent sale value of comparable properties called “comps” when coming up with an estimated home value. In fact, more than half of the U.S. population determine the value of their homes by looking at properties that are similar to theirs.
The reason there is so much reliance on comps when it comes to determining home value is that this approach is the simplest. When you pull comps, you are able to determine market value without actually having to pay an appraiser. All you need to have is good judgment.
The catch, however, is that some homeowners tend to think that all properties sold next door are considered comps. That is not the case.
In choosing accurate comps, you need to use an “apples to apples” approach. This means you need to think about which properties would interest a buyer if your property were not available. You may look for comps by looking for homes with similar size, location, condition, and upgrades as yours.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Look for a site with MLS listings
As you browse a site where you can find MLS listings, you will be able to find the recent sale prices of comparable houses in your neighborhood.
- Look at listing prices
You may start looking at listing prices if you see that there are not enough recent sales. Remember, however, that they might not be that realistic.
- Look for at least three valid comps
If you want to know the likely range of market value for your house, look for at least three properties that are comparable to it.
Remember that things tend to get a little tricky once you have chosen comparable properties. After finding at least three comps, you need to adjust for differences between your house and the comps that you have found by either adding value to the comp price if it has more features than your house or subtracting value if its interior is not as updated as yours.
The amount you add or subtract also largely depends on your market conditions. If you want an easy way to know your home value based on comps, look at the highest and lowest comps. Most probably, your home value is somewhere in the middle of those two values.
What increases the value of my home?
If you are not satisfied with the estimated value you got for your home, there are many ways you can boost its value so you can sell it at a higher price. Here are some of the projects you can take on to increase your Winter Springs FL home value:
- Come up with a remodeling plan
It doesn’t matter whether you just bought a house or you have lived there for a while. The fastest and easiest way to increase the value of your Winter Springs FL home is by coming up with a plan.
You are more likely to come up with better results if you do your upgrades intentionally and not on impulse. While a home improvement project may cost you a little, remember that about 75 to 80 percent of your total spending for upgrades go directly back into your home through increased value.
As you come up with your remodeling plan, start with a list of the things you want to change and the updates you want to make. Have a guess on how long you want to live in your house. If you are planning to sell it in the near future, talk to me and I will come up with a selling plan for you.
It is also important that you take the list and categorize by how much each of the items you’ve listed may cost you. Then, give it a fresh look and see which of them you need to prioritize.
- Deal with one room at a time
One of the best ways to harness the energy that comes from your ideas and still be smart at the same time while taking on your home improvement project is by making the commitment to tackle one room at a time. This will make your project more achievable.
For instance, if you set out to paint your bedroom wall on Friday, make sure you complete the project that day so you can tackle a different room the next day. Through effective strategizing, you will be able to see your vision for each room take shape.
- Never underestimate small improvements
The problem with most homeowners when they undertake home improvements is that they focus too much on big improvements while neglecting small improvements.
Doing a little bit of big and small improvements really does pay off. Gone are the days when homeowners pick projects that don’t really make a difference. If you give importance to big and small improvements at the same time, it will be easier for you to see real progress when upgrading your home.
- Go for a sparkly home
You can never underestimate the value of a clean home, especially if you want to boost its market value. If you are putting your Winter Springs FL home on the market, remember that nothing attracts buyers more than a bright and sparkly home.
As you clean your house, do several things at once by staying on top of maintenance issues and spotting potential problems. Don’t let your clutter build up so when it’s time to sell your Winter Springs FL home, you will feel confident about what you are presenting to your potential buyers.
- Make your house look attractive and welcoming from the outside
If you want to boost the market value of your home, walk across the street, turn around and give it a fresh look. If you think it is not appealing enough, make a list of ways to enhance the positive and eliminate the negative.
Remember that when boosting the value of your home, curb appeal does count. Since it doesn’t stop at your property line, you may want to talk to your neighbors and ask them how they feel about your curb. Your home will become more valuable if you live in a place where everyone pays attention to appearance.
While determining your home’s value may be a bit complicated, I can make things easier for you. Whether you want to determine the current market value of your Winter Springs FL home or need help with boosting its value, feel free to call me at (407) 617-2881. I am Allison Day and I am your top real estate agent in Winter Springs FL.